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Hit and Run in Pennsylvania

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

We all know that we're supposed to stop and render aid if involved in an accident. But what happens if the other involved parties say they're just fine? What are your obligations under Pennsylvania law? Sometimes the law can be a grey area, as the family of one 11-year-old Palmyra boy recently discovered.

Boy Pinned Under Car

On Easter Sunday, Mason Lane begged his mom to take a bicycle ride around downtown Palmyra. Even though Mason scrupulously followed traffic laws, a driver turning right onto Main Street hit him, pinning him under the vehicle. The driver had to back up to allow Mason to crawl out from under the car. The child suffered a fractured wrist, and his bicycle was unrideable. Although witnesses say the driver got out and asked Mason if he was OK, he didn't wait for police or provide his information to Mason or any of the adult witnesses. No one on the scene rendered medical aid to the child.

While a witness to the accident called 911, the driver and Mason were gone when the police arrived. Mason's mother received a call from her son at 6 pm. He was crying and told her someone hit him. She found her son dragging his mangled bicycle home with a broken wrist. Once home, she called the police, who came to the house to take a report. Neither the police nor Mason's family has been able to locate the driver that hit the child. The police later told MSN News that they didn't believe a crime had taken place and were no longer investigating the incident.

Hit and Run Under Pennsylvania Law

Under Pennsylvania law, drivers involved in an accident have a duty to render aid to anyone injured and give their information to the other involved parties. See Pa.C.S. § 3744(a) (1984).

  1. Providing Information: Drivers must give their name, address, and registration number of their vehicle. Upon request, they also need to provide their driver's license and insurance information to the police investigating. These legal obligations should also apply to a child riding a bicycle hit by a car.
  2. Rendering Aid: Pennsylvania law also requires a driver involved in an accident to render aid to anyone injured. Drivers “shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the making of arrangements for the carrying of the injured person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if requested by the injured person.” 75 Pa.C.S. § 3744(a).

Leaving the scene of an accident where an injury results can be a third-degree felony in Pennsylvania, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail, up to seven years in prison, and a minimum $1,000 fine. See 75 Pa.C.S. § 3742(b) (2014).

The Palmyra police later released a statement indicating the case is still under investigation, but they tabled it due to a lack of leads. Nonetheless, if you're involved in an accident, particularly one involving a child, it's best to ensure that no one is injured or may need medical assistance before leaving the scene of an accident. Moreover, you should always provide your name and information to anyone else involved in the accident.

Hire an Experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Attorney

If you're facing hit and run charges in Pennsylvania, attorney Joseph D. Lento can help. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or contact them online to schedule your consultation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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